A fictitious domain method with a hybrid cell model for simulating motion of cells in fluid flow

Wenrui Hao, Zhiliang Xu, Chun Liu, Guang Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this study, we develop a hybrid model to represent membranes of biological cells and use the distributed-Lagrange-multiplier/fictitious-domain (DLM/FD) formulation for simulating the fluid/cell interactions. The hybrid model representing the cellular structure consists of a continuum representation of the lipid bilayer, from which the bending force is calculated through energetic variational approach, a discrete cytoskeleton model utilizing the worm-like chain to represent network filament, and area/volume constraints. For our computational scheme, a formally second-order accurate fractional step scheme is employed to decouple the entire system into three sub-systems: a fluid problem, a solid problem and a Lagrange multiplier problem. The flow problem is solved by the projection method; the solid problem based on the cell model is solved by a combination of level set method, ENO reconstruction, and the Newton method; and the Lagrange multiplier problem is solved by immerse boundary interpolation. The incompressibility of the material is implemented with the penalty function method. Numerical results compare favorably with previously reported numerical and experimental results, and show that our method is suited to the simulation of the cell motion in flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-362
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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